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I have been and took the plunge and bought a pony for my daughter he was proven safe and I had advise and took my time in buying him. Hes a gelding 11hh section A. We had a bad experience where I had tied him up for grooming and some dogs got through a gap in the fence next door and spooked him (although I'm not sure if it was my shock that actually scared him) He broke away and broke his head collar and up until that point he was amazing to catch. It took me 2 days to catch him again and put a field collar on I managed eventually by sectioning him down using electric fencing to the size of a stable. He then gave in and let me catch him groom him etc and seemed good let me catch him again was ok. yesterday I went again and he wouldn't let me catch him. I sectioned him down again and this time he jumped the fencing I know enough that I know he will just do that again now :(. Any advice gratefully received from what I have researched Im going to start with just going into his field and letting him follow me around he has been at the moment and just focus on him being closer to me and stop trying to bribe him with titbits (he just steals them!)
 

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Do not chase him, he knows he can get away.
Take some carrot pieces, that he has to come up to you to get.
Take a bucket and shake it. He will come to get the treats out of the bucket.
My horses all come running up now, I may have a treat, i may have some rubs or brushes.
Keep a rope and halter on your arm or shoulder .
You could put him in a smaller pen until he is willing to be caught again.
 

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If when you're in the paddock he stops and stares at you look right at his bum focus on it for awhile and then turn and walk in the other direction. Someone at my paddock to me to do this if my TB was being an *** I did it to him once and he came straight afterwards lol
 

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Providing you not have him on a large acreage pasture field...get him in a smaller area. Figure out a way he can't jump the fence, another bad trait to learn and not safe for him either!
I would be prepared to spend a few hours of getting him... he may not be ridden but he will work!
Yes, I would chase him!
I would chase him till he is tired of running and then chase him some more so he realizes it is easier to be caught than have his legs run off, tired and winded...
Get a lunge whip as that gives you more "reach" and the snap will get his legs moving faster than you otherwise can. Use that whip to your advantage...
I was taught you make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard...
So not being caught is wrong of him...work his butt and don't quit till he stands perfectly still when you walk up. If you approach and he moves...get after him some more.
You may need to do this a few times but he will learn he has to work harder than if he just gets caught and gets ridden...
Once you do catch him a scratch and SMALL treat..... he earns it not steals it and he doesn't need many of those "treats" either.

Your pony is smart, most ponies are smart.
He has your number....
He has figured out if he alludes you he doesn't get worked...
So now you make him work harder by being mischievous and running away. Punishment if you want to think of it that way..
Your pony needs some retraining....they learn from repetition just like a horse does.
So he learned he can get out of work by alluding you.
He now learns he works harder when he alludes you.
Soon, he may not come to greet you but he will also not be running away but staying put as you approach.
Be prepared for exercise for him and you. This won't be fixed overnight but a few times of doing this he will figure it out...:shock:

So me...
Catching him...I would make those little legs and him TIRED by running his *** off, not by bribing him with treats...to me that is just asking for more issues like biting when he snatches, then bolts.
He may need a occasional refresher course too on his acceptable behaviors...
jmo...
 

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If he has already figured out he can jump fences do not chase him, that is giving him a reason to jump the fence. I highly suggest using positive reinforcement, rather then P&R for this little guy, for this situation.

Take some hay or small bits of food out and be prepared to be patient. Yes he is going to snatch the food and then back off, let him. But try to beat him to the punch and you back off first, you will draw him into your space. If you use hay it is easier as you can toss it to him out of your space, then take a step back while he eats it. Then he will comes towards you again, toss the hay take a step back, he is being rewarded for coming towards you.

Take some really delicious high value treats with you and hold onto them. When he walks up close to you give him the high value treat then step away from him. Once he is coming up to you then you can put your hand out let him touch your hand then give him the treat, keep moving away from him and getting him to follow you. If he leaves that is fine he is missing out on the goodies. He will be back.

After he is following you all about then do the same thing with the halter that you did with your hand, have him touch the halter then give him a treat, step back. Repeat the process until he is no longer moving away from you, then put the halter on and make sure to reward him for that as well.

Since he is already broke it will not take long at all for him to come around and be all up around you again. Especially if you change the game of chase into giving him a reward for doing the right thing.

If your interested in learning more about positive reinforcement there is some good information on the internet, and videos. If your worried about using food and muggy behavior don't as that is one of the first behaviors you teach the horse, to not do those things. I used to be all P&R, but since working with a positive reinforcement trainer I have learned to value that method as well and find it handy in situations such as yours.

My trainer friend, who has impeccable timing btw, was able to get a halter on and off a mustang fresh out of the pens within hours of walking into the pen with him. Or I should say got the horse to shove his face into the halter, on his own, she thinks they need to halter themselves LOL. Then the owner was able to do the same thing. Using only positive reinforcement.
 

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Whichever you choose, move him to a smaller area.

I'd go with 1. Make him work. He can either choose the lunge whip or the halter. If you can't catch him then he's gotta MOVE! No lazy trotting, BIG movements. Stop after a while and try again. Reward him when you can't him and let him go. Or take him out and make it pleasent for him! Groom, graze, handwalk, etc.

Or 2. Feed him in the barn. Try to catch him, if he doesn't want to be caught he doesn't eat. I've never seen a horse skip more then 1 meal! :wink: feed him inside (even if it's his grains and a small amount of grain) and he'll start looking forward to coming inside. When you bring him in between meals throw some carrots in his stall as a reward for coming inside. After a week or so you can phase it out.

Whatever you do make being caught a POSTIVIE experience. Honestly, why would a horse really want to be caught? They are leaving their happy place to do and hour of cardio :lol:! Don't always make catching the precursor to working. You can even do as little as catch him, reward him and let him go again. Also, if you can, try to catch him SEVERAL times a day!
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I don't normally disagree with the whole world but this time I don't agree with anything that's been said.

First don't try catching a horse when you only want them for work. Pretty soon they will be difficult to catch no matter how many dogs sneak thru the fence. Which BTW, sounds like a whole nuther event that needs addressed.

Don't plan on catching him for awhile. Take a book or take your IPad and a lawn chair, and go sit in HIS space for awhile. Keep some treats in your pocket or fanny pack. Plan on sitting in that chair, entertaining yourself until he comes to you, give him a treat, let him sniff you, your book, and don't try to catch him right away.

If you bought him as kid safe, he should not be a horse to walk up and try to bite or kick you, he should be a curious horse that wants to see what you're doing in his space

Don't worry about his being brushed. He's fine without being brushed for awhile but, if you don't have any success with him eventually coming to you out of his own curiosity, you might want to invest in a trainer.

You can chase that pony until the cows come in for milking and still not catch him. What you could do is over heat him and make him colic or worse, sour him from being caught, cause yourself a bunch of not needed frustration.

Good luck in your endeavors.
 

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Different horses seem to react best to different techniques.

Running them down may work if you have the stamina. However, it may not do the best job at setting up a good relationship. It can also develop into a game of "catch me if you can".

A similar, but less stressful, method is to simply follow the horse around calmly, turning to cut off attempts at evasion. This method relies more on persistence than pressure. It may take as long or longer than the previous method, but it would be less stressful for the horse and less physically demanding on you.

Going into the field and standing or sitting until the horse becomes curious enough to investigate you is another method. This may be combined with the previously mentioned method. Follow the horse for a while; then, let him follow you.

Treat or food attraction can prove helpful. I, however, find it better to give a horse a treat when I release it after work. This makes it a reward rather than a bribe. It leaves the horse with a pleasant memory of his last experience with you.

This brings up the importance of building a good relationship with the horse when he is with you. He should learn to trust you to meet his basic needs of food, safety, and reliable leadership. Overly disciplining a horse may obtain obedience but not a true desire to be with you. Being overly affectionate may be perceived as being too intrusive.
 

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I do agree with above(ed to add in the time it's taken to reply, above was horselovinguy - now I'll go read the others), and that is a common approach for me, except I aim not to 'work their butt off'', but will make it work for them just as much as necessary. If this 'new' behaviour is fear based though, I tend to take a 'softer' approach. I do also agree that to bribe with treats is something to avoid. I do think that treats can be a fantastic 'tool' in your training box, when used well & judiciously, but you have to understand exactly what you're reinforcing, and best to avoid it if you need to learn more or aren't confident I reckon.

Treats(& other Good Stuff) shouldn't happen for a 'snatch & run' raid, because that attitude is what you're reinforcing. You need to be aware never to reward behaviours you don't want, even if they're side by side with 'good' behaviours. On the contrary, something Bad, like a bop on the nose might happen if the horse tried to 'mug' me. Feeding treats doesn't make a horse 'nippy', but feeding a treat if a horse nips to get it sure does! And with very few exceptions and only at the very beginning of training(for whatever), I don't use bribery or luring(show the horse the treat to entice it), but only reward.
 

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I agree with horselovinguy.
When I first got my horse, he was the definition of anti-social. He would do anything he could just so he wouldn't have to get caught.
I didn't even start with the treats at first, my horse is too smart for those games.
Just like horselovinguy, I would run him until he decided to stand still and then throw the lead rope around his neck and put the halter on, then I would reward with treats.
After that, I would take his halter off and leave him alone for a little while, just let him process that getting the halter on means treats and he didn't have to run around anymore- I did this for about 2 months, then I would start taking the treats out of the equation and working him after the fact, he would then get treats after working.
My horse now puts his own halter on if you hold it out, he'll put his head right in there and wiggle it until his ears pop under and stands like a statue as you clip it on and put the lead rope on, same thing with his bridle.

It's all about patience and making the negative actions harder on him and the positive actions easier. :) Good luck.
 

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I guess I should have been more explicit regarding treats, especially since I am not a treat person:?

I simply meant to give him something when he comes to the chair and let it go at that but, after some thought, that is probably a bad idea with a person new to horses. I will back peddle and say forget the treats but scratch him on the neck, nose, or head instead, then go about your own business of reading.

My point is the horse is now well on its way to being difficult to catch and going back to square one seems necessary. I would rather do that the kind way than to beat the horse half to death, FIGURATIVELY speaking:)
 

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Go out with a bucket with a handful of treats in it. I prefer a bit of grain because it takes longer to eat then a carrot or peppermint. Shake the bucket to get his attention, see if you can get close and just put it on the ground, step back and let him eat it. Don't try and catch him.

Do this a several times and soon he will be following you. Once he is following you, you can have him follow you to the smaller area, where you can catch him easier.

Soon you should be able to catch him in the field with the bucket, then with just a carrot. Some horses never like to be caught but with your ponies history he will be able to be caught again.

Your pony was clearly frightened by something. If you go chasing it around, it could be detrimental to his mind, and you will never recover from what ever happened. Make sure whatever did happen doesn't happen again.
 

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Now I've read the other replies, I actually agree with all of yez! Depends on the horse & the situation you find yourself with, as to what sort of approach, but all you guys have said basically sums up the principles I use!
 

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I never expect DD's pony to just stand and let me put the headcollar on.. lets face it shes an 11hh 20+yo who's been there, done that and knows every trick in the book. I eliminate the possibility of her making a run for it by putting the leadrope around her neck while she eats her apple/carrot/whatever. If she goes to wander off a bit of pressure on her neck is enough to convince her shes already caught. This gives a bit of security while you organise the headcollar.
 
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Ask a horse related question and you're likely to get a bazillion different and conflicting answers, right ?


You , and daughter, can't do a thing with a horse you can't bring out of the pasture , right ? (I don't like to think of it as 'catching' the horse, I want the horse to learn to 'catch' me)
At your level of experience , don't mean to offend, NOT AT ALL, needing help to do the most basic thing ('catch' the horse), I strongly recommend you seek in person help , or --next best thing-- pick a clinician who has dvd's, online teaching, etc...ie Parelli,Anderson,Cox,Cameron,,,and open yourself to a lifetime of learning,,,,starting with being able to bring the horse in from the pasture in a safe, less stressful -for him and you- way. There's so much feel and timing to the methods suggested here, that , imho, there's just no way to really get the help and techniques you need from well intentioned people typing their advise on the keyboard. Add into that the fact that he's already a jumper and the safety issues go higher.

Don't feel discouraged, we've all been there, especially all of us who became first time horse owners as adults. I needed help, boy, did I need help, and the search for help is what caused me to find Parelli Natural Horsemanship and it made the world of difference. I also found people locally to help me.

I agree , in most part, with most of the suggestions on here, and use variations of them myself. But, again, I really think the finer nuances needed to be safe and successfull are too hard to explain or learn from just text.

The main thing I would say is that the first time you do get close enough for long enough to halter him....don't. Give him rubs and scratches, verbal praise, then turn and walk away, go out of the pasture. It will blow his mind, in a good way, and is the beginning to him learning that allowing himself to be close enough to be 'caught' doesnt always mean work or unpleasantness for him. It will go a long way to increasing his willingness to allow you that close the next time (and the next, etc) As long as he has plenty of grass/hay and water available, it won't hurt him to hang out in the pasture till you get this sorted out.

Good luck!
Fay
 
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I will second Loosie's statement.
It depends on the horse/situation/what you're comfortable doing.

Chasing my horse worked for him, beautifully. He has no mental "scarring", or "distrust" for me, in fact- he comes running up to me to be caught now and nickers and just stands there. I've never believed in bribery as a source of training, no matter what the situation- more often than not, it leads to disrespect or just flat out ignoring you when you no longer have the treat.
They aren't learning to respect you, they're learning to look at you like a walking pez dispenser.

I will reiterate this though, I am not talking down against anyone's training methods or what have you, I just prefer mine and they have always worked with my horses and others.
I have never, nor will I ever run my horse to the point where he is huffing or anything of the sort. It depends on the horses stamina and how fit he is. I don't mind working harder to earn my respect, because at the end of the day - 8 years later, my horse still respects and trusts me.

So, OP, I recommend you try different methods out and see what works best for you.
 

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This works. Circle way around him as tho out for a stroll. Don't look at him other than quick glances. When directly behind, well behind, if he's pay not attention, run up and startle him then stand where he was for oh 15 seconds then back up and turn and walk away. A dominant horse does this then allows the other to return. Even if he doesn't, make the big circle again and repeat startling him. The goal is that he will want to watch you with both eyes and he'll make it hard for you to circle behind. He'll keep turning his rump away. Approach him from the front but look at his knees, rather than his eyes. Stop when about an arm's reach away or it he looks like he's going to leave. An ear turning away will tell you. Step back a few steps then to take the pressure off. If he looks to the right, you do so to your right. This will draw him back. Should he scoot off, begin your big circle again. BTW, have the halter and lead in plain sight at all times. When he does stand, bend a little at the waist and extend your hand, fingers in a loose fist facing downward. Don't touch his nose but let him come the last inch. This is his signal to you that you're ok. It's tempting to touch him but don't. When he does, and he may not. If he doesn't, back up a few steps, wait then approach again. Pressure, release, pressure, release. When he touches your hand rub his cheek then move to his neck, rubbing his neck, shoulder, back. Don't let the thought of haltering him enter your mind as he'll know it. Work your way toward his from then slip the lead over his neck then remove it. Repeat half a dozen times. A good sign is if he drops his hip. Then slip the halter on and remove it, repeating that half a dozen times. Then remove it, back up a few steps then turn and walk away. He may even follow you. Ignore him if he does. You've just laid the foundation for getting him to catch you. Repeat the entire exercise later in the day or the next. It won't take nearly as long as the first time. When you bring him out to groom, have some treats (carrot pieces) for him in a pan. Incentive. You need to have the patience of Job for this to work.
 

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Hello . Trying to get a horse that does not want to come in is NO fun been there lots of times and it is so so madding when some else can get him to come in . It makes me look like I can do nothing with him . But it takes time for him to learn to go to you . It took a long long time with many a moody me and me being silly but we got there he knows if he comes in he gets a big treat . Hope things work out for you . Let me know how you get on ok Purplelady
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